Designers of contemporary collections often combine flowers with fruits to make their arrangements good enough to eat, an abundance of fragrant sweet peas displayed in a vase full of strawberries give a terrific look to any summer dinner party. Slices of limes and lemons work wonderfully with white roses to give a clean crisp effect. Miniature trees, stripped of their leaves and replaced by single heads of pastel shades of asters provide an interesting focal point for a large room.
Etymologically, the origins of the name Ikebana comes from two Japanese words: ikeru, which means to give or conserve life, and hana, which translates as flower. There is an old Japanese saying relating to Japanese flower arrangement that goes kokoro wo ikeru, which literally means to give life to your heart. In all cultures, nature has always been an essential source for healing of the soul. In Japan, the use of flowers to enrich the spirit has been part of the culture since ancient times. By extension, Ikebana is also considered a form of artistic expression meant to enrich and heal the spirit.